If you’ve been hip to Afrikan Sciences, you are familiar with the notion that he’s gonna keep you guessing. So with the breakbeat wildness running all over his new release Daze Of The Weak it’s easy to envision the New York based electronic music producer saddled away in a studio with dozens of keyboards, drum machines and patch cords emitting smoke, while a fat grin stays firmly planted on his mug.
Over the past decade, he’s diligently built music as part of Les Graciés, WOOD // WORK Collective or as a solo artist, that constantly tosses a brown middle finger at the lame normcore algorithm cash grabbers.
Using a portal of West London Broken beat, house, techno and whatever new ideas he cooks up, these releases have garnered praises from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Georgia Ann Muldrow. All the while co-heading the creative Deepblak label.
So when sinking in with his current fidgety, kick drum heavy atmospheric release, its easy to ponder…
Where are these beats gonna land? Is it on the two? Or the four? Wait, was that one on the three? Is this release lovingly pointing a finger to the litany of breakbeat creations found on the B-Sides of Jungle and Drum and Bass Records from the London Reinforced label circa early, mid and late 90’s? Or, is Daze of The Weak the now desperately needed breakcore through a black lens statement to make techno Black again? Wait, did Afrikan Sciences just troll lo-fi house? Is this a project to auto correct the gross whitewashing of house music which David Guetta deserves to be dragged for?
So many questions. Here’s an answer.
Afrikan Sciences makes political statements by making it difficult to expect when the two and the four will hit. It boils down to serving the culture and acknowledging the roots.
Listen, a vaping hamster or a dead squirrel in the gutter can line up cookie cutter electronic music all day. But where is the funk when everything lands squarely where it is expected?
All choices, especially in art, are political.
Witness the recent four-month interview circuit DJ and music curator Amir Abdullah has been on preaching about the forgotten merits of Americas most compelling composer, Charles Mingus. Jazz in Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Selden is a lost concert by Mingus that Abdullah found on reel tapes in 2017 and just released for a whole new generation to understand why Jazz, the classical music of America, is a priceless cultural commodity.
Observe the stellar Lumberjacks In Hell compilation, a contemporary study on how Paradise Garage, Detroit Techno, and Chicago House still uplifts dancefloors and the human spirit. Assembled by DJ/producer/label boss Marcel Vogel, he personally selected producers for this project that have a strong sense of the history associated with the commingled origins of house and disco. Founded by brown, gay and other disenfranchised people, Vogel paid close attention while making this project, ensuring whitewashing chicanery would be nowhere near this project.
Daze of The Weak doesn’t snap to the sound of a cash register ring. Afrikan Sciences provides breakbeats that place the African talking drum on a loop, while atmospherics fire across the galaxy, 4/4 ideas get chopped, dubbed and swirled amidst driving on-off time signatures.
Alt-Blue provides a meditative wood block chop ticking in anticipation of something coming, while Gone Without a Verb is the boisterous ghosts in the machine glitchy-thump that mixes an elephant running over your chest while car engine tinkering noises sputter about the soundscape. Yet, it’s the break-step, techno-jazz earworm of a jam Thought Revoking that knocks us upside the head and provides the sentiment: This music is a continuum.
Listen to Acoustic Nightmares via Bandcamp below. Listen/Buy the record HERE